(citation to Sask Encyclopedia) Before dawn on April 2, 1885, a party of Cree warriors captured Quinn at his home. This was a public execution. Then all was ready. The executions followed the Frog Lake Massacre, the North-West Resistance, and the Looting of Battleford. Wandering Spirit pleaded guilty and was sentenced to hang on September 22, 1885. The hangings took place November 27, 1885. All Rights Reserved. How much of this sang-froid is genuine and how much put on would be a nice question for our wise men, but their attitude made quite an impression on us. Facebook Twitter Instagram. rifles at support, marched up to form a cordon about the foot of the scaffold. Prior to the North-West Resistance the Canadian Government's actions in what would become Saskatchewan resulted in starvation, disease, and death among the Indigenous peoples of the area. The priest, who accompanied them is praying, but small attention is accorded him, and the bolt that launches the eight into eternity slips, and the bodies fall the full length of the rope. Quinn was a notoriously harsh Indian Agent, who kept Indigenous people near Frog Lake on the brink of starvation ("no work, no rations"). L'Hôtel du Gouvernement, siège du gouvernement des Territoires du Nord-Ouest, disparut lors de l'incendie du 7 juillet 2003 . In only want to thank you, redcoats, and the sheriff for your kindness. The call we used in those days was a particularly pretty little French thing that has since been discarded for the regulation trumpet call of the British army, but its artistic value from a musical point of view was largely discounted by the fact that of its being “Reveille.” “Reveille” means, gentle reader, in this case, turning out of your warm blankets at 6:30 a.m. on to the cold floor of a bell tent with the thermometer below zero, for this is a December day in 1885. La ville fut fondée en 1875 comme poste de traite des fourrures et de la Police montée du Nord-Ouest. Following the resistance at Frog Lake, the participants were taken to Battleford. But let me tell you that I never thought to lift my hand against a white man. At the foot of the stairs the escort stepped aside and the prisoners ascended to the platform through a gate in the railing. Eight First Nations men were hanged, five due to participation in the Frog Lake Massacre , two for murders in the Battleford area, and one for the killing of a Mountie at Fort Pitt on April 15. Un article de Wikipédia, l'encyclopédie libre. A number of sources indicate that children from Battleford Industrial School were brought from the school to witness the hangings as a "warning". © 2020 RCMP Veterans’ Association – Vancouver Division. I can hear that death chant yet, and the drop of the bodies, when I can easily forget what they looked like. He refused to go to another location with the Cree warriors and was shot dead onsite. The scaffold was erected in the open square of the stockade which surrounded the buildings that formed the old fort. Poundmaker was arrested at Fort Battleford and sentenced to a prison term. They mount the scaffold, are placed by the hangman beneath the dangling rope that awaits each. Years ago, when we lived on the plains and hunted the buffalo, I was a head warrior of the Crees in battle with the Blackfoot Indians. I am sorry when it is too late. As this is only a record of one day, I can not go back to the cause that furnished us with our employment, which was the Frog Lake massacre, and is “another story.” We were gathered on this occasion to hang eight Indians who were convicted of having participated in the murders, which, of course, you will remember, were of a particularly revolting nature, involving throwing the bodies in wells, and worse maltreatment. Aquisanee!“. To hang eight Indians. There was no question about it, we had the best trumpeter. A considerable military force for that time and place was on duty, presumably to prevent trouble. The gate was closed and the prisoners took their places. How is it, that sounds and smells live in our memory when taste, feeling and sight are forgotten? This was a public execution. Stay connected . . It was now 9 a.m. and we fell in for the real business of the day. 1885 – Basic training at “Depot” Division in Regina; 1885 – 1886 – “F” Division Fort Battleford; 1887 – Helped construct Fort Steele and was a hospital orderly; July 26, 1892 – Charged in Service Court for Neglect Duty by not seeing that Constable Draycott (Reg.#1661) was in his room at the last post. Then came Sheriff Forget dressed in black, followed by the clergymen. You have been good to me; better than I deserved. The grating of iron; 8 bodies shot through the trap; and all was over. The chanting of the “death song” still goes on. “K” division was a “rookie” crowd, but Callaghan could do proud and lofty stunts on the bugle that Grogan of “D” could not even approach, he being a comparatively new hand at the job, only taking it on when Burke was killed at Cut Knife a few months before. Others fled to the United States. Discover the stories of the North-West Mounted Police (NWMP), First Nations, Métis and settlers in these difficult times. It took me a little longer to complete my toilet as I had to pull on my third pair of socks before pulling on my moccasins and serge. (citation to Sask Indian article). The crowd was silent and being composed of friends and enemies of the condemned men, naturally constrained. It remained hidden for many years. Thus it was a beautifully rendered “Reveille” that roused us from our slumbers on the morning of the day I am recording. In 1972, the gravesite was rediscovered by students who followed old plans of the fort in order to find the burial location. There they came, hands tied behind their backs, with a policeman before, behind, and on either side of each. The first six names relate to murders which occurred at the Frog Lake Massacre, while the final two relate to murders which occurred during Looting of Battleford. There are a number of first-hand historical records that exist of the Hangings at Battleford, however the majority of accounts are written from the perspective of settlers in the area. We had been standing in formation since shortly after 9, when we fell in, and we were cold. In repairing them, the dimensions were increased. Battleford est une ville de la Saskatchewan au Canada située près de la rivière Saskatchewan Nord. Trial and charges of bias against Stipendiary Magistrate (Judge) Charles Rouleau, Presence of children from Battleford Residential School, "Biography – KAPAPAMAHCHAKWEW – Volume XI (1881-1890) – Dictionary of Canadian Biography", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=1885_hangings_at_Battleford&oldid=968542425, Articles with unsourced statements from July 2018, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 20 July 2020, at 01:02. Enter your email address to receive notice of updates to the website. Photograph of the grave marker of the 8 men hung at Fort Battleford. We were drawn up in the form of a hollow square surrounding the scaffold, and the civilians and Indians were within the stockade, but not allowed to crowd up to the military, but given every opportunity to observe all that happened. The Frog Lake Massacre saw Indian Agent Thomas Trueman Quinn initially shot in the head. selon les recommandations des projets correspondants. – received a reprimand by Insp. While Hodson strapped ankles, the doomed were granted 10 minutes in which to speak if they wished, all doing so but Wandering Spirit. Each Indian walks between two husky Constables, small chance of escape. Retired Sergeant Charles Arthur William Whitehead (Reg.#1577) joined the Force on August 12, 1885 and the events of career in the Force were as follows: Photograph of the NWMP Discharge Certificate for Sergeant Charles Arthur William Whitehead (Source of image – NWMP Archives held by the Library Archives of Canada). A weird chanting is heard in the direction of the guard-room, and those of us who could see in that direction find that the prisoners are coming. Fort Otter was constructed at Battleford 's government house located at the capital of the North-West Territories (1876 and 1883). As I was directly in front of the scaffold, and it became the duty of the ten men so stationed to act as burial party, I had an opportunity to see the last of our Indian friends. They are similar to the largest mass execution in the United States, following the Dakota War of 1862. Fort Battleford National Historic Site. Until then, it is true, the thought of death had not frightened them; but the day before their execution they seemed to remember all their wishes. The only sound was the measured steps of the sombre procession.
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